Thursday, August 28, 2014

Big Boy Rafi

Raf is getting ready to head to kindergarten. It's coming up very quickly, with a trial day on the 5th and a start day of the 8th. This summer we've been trying to get him ready. He took part in a kindergarten academy at his new school, which was really good for him as he got to meet some new friends. He'll also know some pals from preschool. None of them are in his class but having them there in school is a big comfort. To get him ready we've made some changes to the boys' room, taking down the crib (sniff, sniff - though Charlie never slept for a second in it!), an old bookcase, and putting in some good storage units and a desk! I popped down to Ikea just south of Boston and we got some good deals. Raf was so happy and excited when he saw his new room!

Charlie is so excited, too!

Storage for trains...!

Raf wanted to keep his tree decal and animal pictures, which I was very happy about.

Trying out his new desk and chair.

We also headed to LL Bean to buy a rucksack and new shoes. A red one, of course!

Charlie was also desperate to get one. We didn't come home with one (he's inheriting Raf's doggy backpack) but he enjoyed walking around LL Bean with it.

And new shoes!

We also headed out to get his 'list' of things he needs for school - such as note pads, pencils, glue sticks, and even head phones. 

He's growing up, he's ready for the next step... Yesterday he said, 'mummy, are you going to miss me?' I responded that I would indeed miss him, and he comforted me, saying, 'don't worry mummy, it's just down the road. It's going to be okay'. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The boys have been in the water a lot this summer. Living so close to the water it's so important that they can both swim. We've been doing lessons at the YMCA, which have really helped get him used to the water, but he's grown very reliant on floatation devices. We have a Michael Phelps center in our town and they have really super summer camps available. We were only able to do it for a couple of weeks, but by the end of it Raf was swimming all by himself! They work on getting the kids comfortable submerged completely in the water. The progress was pretty amazing!

We also had a few lessons with some friends at another friend's pool! It was fun, and Charlie had lessons, too!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Talk, talk, talk

Charlie very much looks up to his big brother and follows and copies him in so many funny ways. For instance, Charlie - who is the messiest eater on the planet - refuses (and I mean refuses) to wear a bib at meal times in spite of us buying an almost hazmat-type-bib which we hoped would cut down on the washing by a factor of 10. He will, though, wear one when he sees Raf put one on! Poor Raf willingly faces the indignity of wearing a bib in order to encourage his brother.

Charlie is also a little daredevil and recently started to fling himself off from high places (beds, steps, shopping trolleys, etc) and trusts that you will catch him, no matter that you're holding a trillion things, have the dogs, and are only paying half attention. The good thing is that when Charlie has an accident, he gets over it incredibly quickly. Blood can be gushing out of his leg or head and after a brief cry he will stop, and often laugh, especially if you ask, 'Charlie, did you bang your head again?'/ He's such a funny boy.

I really wanted to blog about how much his language has exploded this past couple of months. Raf was such a late bloomer in this regard, and I don't think he was properly talking until he was aged 3, or more. Charlie is very different, and while understanding him often relies on context, this is getting less and less so. He's putting many words together, understands so, so much (which I keep forgetting!!), and is very good at communicating his needs. For such similar boys, this has so far been the most significant difference between raising them. 

Hearing the boys have little conversations is very sweet, and often funny. Raf shows remarkable patience, but I often hear him saying things such as, 'just one more time, Charles' as he puts together a train for Charlie, mimicking, I think, things I've said to Raf as I put together the same toy for the hundredth time. Invariably, just as I do, Raf consents to putting the train together another time. Raf is also the only person who seems to call Charlie 'Charles'. They're such funny, lovely boys. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Poor Rafi is poorly again. He's being have recurrent episodes of very high fever and sometimes vomiting. I thought that he was dealing with some food poisoning but there have been several instances and we're becoming increasingly worried. His temperatures are very high and whilst medicine brings the fever down fairly easily, it's difficult not to become too concerned. I spoke to the Dr. today and we're heading in this week to have him checked out. Poor little fella. In between the sickness, though, we've been having some lovely times this summer. 

Last week we headed to the lake - where we were married - and enjoyed a really nice afternoon swimming in the lake, playing in the play ground (well, I read my book and Rich took them!), and enjoyed a picnic. We drove past our old house and not only has it been knocked down but there's now a road going straight through it!

The water is so much warmer than the sea!

We've also been enjoying our brilliant neighbourhood. We're very lucky to have some wonderful neighbours. They would spend all their time together if they could!

They go from one house to another, seeking out toys and snacks!

Glorious morning runs....

And even enjoying the fruits of the rain and our terrible driveway which has a massive puddle when it down pours.

Raf has been desperate to go on the fair-rides at OOB so we headed there earlier this week and enjoyed chips and the fair. It's like being on holiday when you're there, and difficult to believe that it's a couple of miles down the road from us.

Charlie's first ride!

It seemed as though Charlie would enjoy this one, but I should have known from a couple of years ago when poor Rory was positively terrified once this ride got going.

Charlie had a similar reaction. Thankfully the woman stopped the ride immediately and we were able to get him off. Poor lad.

The next night... ice-cream date with friends.

And on Friday, Raf's first time at the local water park. I should have known that Raf was sick as he was pretty lackluster and pale. I thought he was just tired as the night before he'd said to me, 'mummy, I am so desperate to go to bed' as we walked back from the ice-cream shop.

Still, he had a super time with his friend Cordelia and he especially liked the big slide we went down on this double ring. The final time he was completely dunked into the water and then he was ready to leave.

We were planning on a big weekend of fun but with Raf not feeling well we had a stay at home day, which was a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Earlier today we were playing baseball in the garden and Rich managed to hit poor Raf on the arm with the ball. Raf was devastated and exclaimed 'thumbs down for daddy'. This evening, as Rich and Raf sat on the couch watching some telly, Raf turned around to Rich and said, 'Daddy, thanks for saying sorry earlier'.

A hike and a playground adventure

Last Friday we took the boys for a hike up Bradbury Mountain. It's a really kid friendly hike and since there's a play ground there, too, there's extra fun to be had. I took the boys there last year on my own but this time we were lucky that Rich was around to join us. 

Here's Charlie in his 'hiking hat', which was actually his grandpa's hat that my mum gave to him when we were in Spain.

After a few falls we decided to pop Charlie in the Becco and he rode on my back for most of the hike. Raf had a super fun time leading the way as he looked for the coloured blazers on the trees along the way. 

Stopping for water and a family shot.

Nearing the top...

And we're there! It's a lovely view and Raf was excited to look through the binoculars that Rich had brought with him.

Getting a little tired as we near the end.

And then we were treated to some park fun. Rich and I had a very time, too! I have to confess that I really like to swing. I could do it for hours, and these swings were very robust.

Charlie hasn't enjoyed being in a swing for quite some time so I was glad to see he wanted to have a go.

Of course he preferred the big boy swings....

Looking forward to some autumn hiking with the children. Raf really enjoys it and does make me smile when he comments on the 'beautiful views' and 'amazing trees'.